Qurʼanic Verses


This fragment includes on its recto the last verse (110) of the 18th chapter of the Qurʼan entitled Surat al-Kahf (The cave). The heading of the next chapter (19) entitled Surat Maryam (Mary) appears on the fragment's verso. The Qurʼanic text itself is executed on rag paper in old Persian Naskh and provided with interlinear Persian translations. Like the chapter heading on its verso, the last line of Surat al-Kahf is executed in plaited eastern Kufi, with knots executed in black ink on the letters' stems and in red for the vine-like interlacing between the letters' verticals. The last three words executed in plaited eastern Kufi of verse 18:110, "admit nobody as partner in the worship of God," also are provided with sub-linear Persian translation. The single verse marker in the fragment consists of a six-petal rosette filled with yellow paint and decorated with three red dots on its perimeter. The verso of this fragment includes the heading of the 19th chapter as well as the surah's initial bismillah (in the name of God). The title, which reads Surat Maryam, 'alayha al-salam (The chapter of Mary, peace be upon her), is executed in gold ink on a red background decorated with white interlacing vines. The bismillah is executed in plaited eastern Kufi script similar to the last line of writing on the fragment's recto. The plaits form interlacing three-leaf motifs or chain-like knots, in the middle of which appear four-leaf designs executed in red ink. Eastern Kufi and Persian Naskh scripts are typical calligraphies practiced in Persian lands between the 11th and the 13th centuries.

Last updated: April 6, 2015